Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Catholic League Watch

The Catholic League, headed by William Donohue, purports to defend Catholicism against "defamation and discrimination". As there is much anti-Catholicism in our culture, an organization such as this can play a useful role. But not in its present form. Donohue is more keen on turning the organization into an arm of the "culture war" which is code for aligning the Catholic church with the interests of the Republican party (indeed, one of his best friends is James Dobson, whose evangelical group seems to regard Bush as the second coming...).

Anyway, I will try to expose a fair amount of Catholic League hypocrisy in these pages. For now, let's address the Mel Gibson issue. Gibson is something of a hero to the Catholic League, and their press release of February 26, 2004 says it all:
"Already, left-wing censors in Hollywood are out to get Mel. They think they can stop him. But it's too late for the blacklisters to win. Nothing can stop the public from rallying around Saint Mel."
That's right. Because his movie, The Passion of the Christ, is being used as a weapon in the "culture war" by Donohue to bludgeon his opponents, he becomes "Saint Mel". Now here's the catch: Gibson is not even Catholic! While famously reticent about what he actually believes, he has a habit of building his own churches (including one for his famously anti-semitic father). Cardinal Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles, asserted that the church he attends in Malibu is not in communion with the Catholic church. Tim Rutten in the LA Times noted that Gibson bought a church in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, for $750,000, and that his infamous father is overseeing the project, for a group of so-called "traditional Catholics". These are an interesting bunch of schismatics. They detest Vatican II, mainly because of the Declaration on Religious Liberty and the new approach to Judaism. Many of them are avid sedevacantists too, believing there is no valid pope. And yes, they can also be a pretty anti-semitic bunch.

But, to William Donohue, he is Saint Mel. And Bill, to be fair, stands by his saints, claiming that "There's a lot of people who have made comments which are bigoted who are not necessarily bigots." Funny how he never says that when he is attacking Democrats, isn't it? The outpouring of love continues: "Mel Gibson's apology is a model of contrition, and it reflects the genuineness of his faith." And what faith might that be, Bill?

1 comment:

John Lowell said...


Yes, indeed, Donohue is Reich's Church to the core. He has single handedly managed to distort what otherwise may have been a very valuable resource combatting anti-Catholicism into a tool of Bush Regime interests. Like Neuhaus, Weigel, Novak, Hudson, Bennett and all too many others,
Donohue is just much too close to power for comfort.

John Lowell